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Blockchain technology development and implementation for global logistics operations: a reference model perspective

Rukshanda Kamran (Department of Information Technology, SZABIST Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Nasreen Khan (Department of Information Technology, SZABIST Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Balan Sundarakani (Faculty of Business, University of Wollongong in Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Journal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing

ISSN: 2398-5364

Article publication date: 18 May 2021

Issue publication date: 28 June 2021




Blockchain technology offers a lot of potential benefits in supply chain management. However, there is a need of a reference model which addresses the gaps in existing frameworks. This paper aims to propose a blockchain technology-based reference model which can be applied to global logistics operations.


The researchers have integrated the fit-for-purpose theoretical framework and prototyping methodology to design the reference model, a blockchain-based logistics, tracking and traceability system (BLTTS). The researchers demonstrated the application of the reference model through a health-care supply chain case study. The proposed BLTTS can be implemented across global logistics operations for business performance improvement.


The research provides a framework and recommendations for global companies to consider when adopting the blockchain technology for implementation. The researchers found that the Ethereum blockchain technology improves security of the data shared within the block through the secure hashing algorithm 1. The hash algorithm ensures anonymity of the involved parties. The model integrates blockchain with supply chain thus creating transparent process, efficiency and real-time communication.

Research limitations/implications

The reference model will offer a better solution to global logistics operations challenges. It provides recommendations to key stakeholders involved in logistics operations segment of the logistics industry while adopting blockchain technology. Apart from the methodological limitation of the study, the system compatibility and the layer configuration aspects might be posing potential challenges while upscaling the implementation.


The proposed reference model overcomes the drawbacks of existing models as it integrates Ethereum technology. In addition, the researchers have applied the model to demonstrate its functioning in real-time environment, which could guide for future research.



Disclosure statement: No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.


Kamran, R., Khan, N. and Sundarakani, B. (2021), "Blockchain technology development and implementation for global logistics operations: a reference model perspective", Journal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 360-382.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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